Exhibition football helps NBC, CBS

NEW YORK (AP) - The NFL season hasn't started yet, but with little else happening on broadcast television, exhibition football games are making a dent in the ratings.

Three games were ranked in Nielsen's top 30 prime-time programs last week. Sunday night's contest between the Carolina Panthers and New York Jets on NBC was second only to a showing of "America's Got Talent" as the week's most-watched program.

CBS relied on Friday and Saturday night games, along with the 14th edition of "Big Brother" and popular reruns, to win the week.

With 5.2 million viewers, NBC did relatively well with Brian Williams' "Rock Center" special edition on Mormonism. Only football and "America's Got Talent" did better for the network last week, the Nielsen Co. said.

For the week, CBS averaged 5.8 million viewers in prime time (3.8 rating, 7 share). NBC had 5.1 million (3.3, 6), ABC had 4.1 million (2.7, 5), Fox had 3.8 million (2.3, 4), ION Television had 1.1 million (0.7, 1) and the CW had 740,000 (0.5, 1).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a 3.2 million average (1.7, 3). Telemundo had 1.2 million (0.7, 1), TeleFutura had 610,000 (0.3, 1), Estrella had 160,000 and Azteca had 110,000 (both 0.1, 0).

NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.8 million viewers (5.2, 11). ABC's "World News" was second with 7.1 million (4.8, 10) and the "CBS Evening News" had 5.5 million viewers (3.7, 8).

A ratings point represents 1,147,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 114.7 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of Aug. 20-26, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 9.9 million; NFL Exhibition Football: Carolina vs. N.Y. Jets, NBC, 9.82 million; "America's Got Talent" (Wednesday), NBC, 8.6 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 8.58 million; "NCIS," CBS, 8.09 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 7.44 million; "Big Brother 14" (Sunday), CBS, 7.37 million; "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 7.15 million; "The Mentalist" (Tuesday), CBS, 6.29 million; "Big Brother 14" (Thursday), CBS, 6.28 million.

ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox and My Network TV are units of News Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. TeleFutura is a division of Univision. Azteca America is a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.



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